Whitey Morgan and the 78's are an American honky tonk country band, based in Flint, Michigan, United States. In 2010, they signed a recording contract with Chicago-based Bloodshot Records.
Formation and early history
Started in 2005, under the name Whitey Morgan and the Waycross Georgia Farmboys, the original members included Whitey Morgan (a.k.a. Eric Allen) on vocals and guitar; Jeremy Mackinder on bass; and Dylan Dunbar and Jack Schneider on guitar and drums respectively. After establishing themselves in the Midwest Honky Tonk scene, the band recorded a self-produced EP which includes early versions of "Goodbye Dixie," "Prove It All To You," and "If It Ain't Broke." The band soon signed a deal with Detroit's own Small Stone Recordings and went back into the studio to record a cover version of Van Halen's "Runnin' with the Devil" for the label's compilation album, Sucking in the 70's.
Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels
In 2007, the band changed its line-up to Whitey Morgan on Vocals and Guitar, Benny James Vermeylen on Guitar and vocals - formerly of 3 Speed and South Normal, Jeremy "Leroy" Biltz on Guitar, Jeremy Mackinder on bass, and Mike Popovich - formerly of The Holy Cows, 3 Speed, and The OffRamps, on drums and officially becomes Whitey Morgan and the 78's. In 2008 the band released its debut album Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels on Small Stone Recordings.
Whitey Morgan and the 78's
In 2009, the band saw the addition of Tamineh Gueramy on Fiddle. The band then headed to Woodstock, New York in the fall of 2009 to begin recording the follow-up to Honky Tonks... at the Levon Helm Studios. With almost 200 shows a year and the new album nearing completion the band drew the attention of Chicago's Bloodshot Records and signed a new record contract. The self-titled album was released on October 12, 2010. Ahead of the record's release, both Benny James and Mike Popovich left the band, replaced by Travis Harrett on the drums and Brett Robinson joined on pedal steel guitar. In April 2012, Jeremy Mackinder was replaced by Joey Spina on bass.
As of 2014, the current line-up features Whitey Morgan on guitar/vocals, Brett Robinson on pedal steel guitar, Joey Spina on guitar, Alex Lyon on Bass, and Tony Dicello on drums.
After touring with fellow Detroit area band The Deadstring Brothers and Wayne "the Train" Hancock, both Bloodshot Records recording artists, Whitey Morgan and the 78's were signed to Bloodshot in the spring of 2010. On October 16, 2010, the band performed on NPR's Mountain Stage. They played a four-song, fifteen-minute set. The episode also featured Scott Miller, Gene Watson and The Steel Drivers.